Whoa! It’s been quite a while since we put up a “Trailer Tuesday” post. Let’s fix that by going over some stuff banging around in the MMC! dome!
The next best thing to having an MMC! proposal made real is having a label beat MMC! to the punch. This happened just last week when Criterion announced that Bing Liu’s amazing documentary Minding the Gap (2018) would be joining the Collection. We’ve already declared our admiration for Liu’s brilliant coming of age doc set among the skateboarding community of Rockford, Illinois, putting it among our top 20 films of 2018, and it was set to be our next Criterion proposal once we were done with our favourite films from the 2020 Fantasia Festival. The upcoming Criterion edition has some great special features, not to mention the Collection’s January 2021 slate includes the return of Luis Buñuel’s “Search for Truth” trilogy. That’s a one-three punch of documentary realism and surrealist audacity!
Probably the biggest news of late from Arrow Video is the American and Canadian launch of its streaming platform, the Arrow Player. There’s plenty of content already up and ready, including a few titles without physical releases like Ezequiel Endelman’s Crystal Eyes (2017) and Kristian A. Söderstrōm’s Videoman (2018). Keep an eye on the label’s YouTube channel for monthly sizzle reels announcing things to come!
Perhaps no title has been more anticipated this month than Yoji Yamada’s Tora-San, Wish You Were Here (2019), the 50th film in this MMC!–beloved franchise and naturally made to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the film series. While essentially a clip show of moments featuring its now-deceased star Kiyoshi Atsumi, the film nevertheless manages to be utterly charming, reuniting Tora’s nephew Mitsuo with his high school sweetheart Izumi and heaping a second layer of nostalgia on an already sentimental franchise. This was watched through the Toronto Japanese Film Festival which is set to close on October 22nd. Don’t miss out!
Pierre Földes’ Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman is not set to be completed until 2022, however its trailer has MMC! buzzing. This French production, adapting various stories by Haruki Murakami, was originally intended to function as an anthology but instead merged into a shared chronology once Fōldes came to consider the various tales as reflecting multiple facets of the same characters at different points in their lives. Using a hybrid animation technique blending live action, 3D models of heads, and classic layouts, Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman apparently sees “a lost cat, a voluble giant toad and a tsunami help an unambitious salesman, his frustrated wife and a schizophrenic accountant save Tokyo from an earthquake and find meaning in their lives.” Weird!
After recently feeling as though HBO’s Watchmen series was, at best, an admirable failure, I can’t help about wonder about Alan Moore own new series The Show (Mitch Jenkins, 2016 – 2016? Really IMDB? Not 2020?) I also can’t I guess what it’s about having watched its trailer. Thankfully, Protagonist Pictures provides this synopsis:
A frighteningly focussed man of many talents, passports and identities arrives at England’s broken heart, a haunted midlands town that has collapsed to a black hole of dreams, only to find that this new territory is as at least as strange and dangerous as he is. Attempting to locate a certain person and a certain artefact for his insistent client, he finds himself sinking in a quicksand twilight world of dead Lotharios, comatose sleeping beauties, Voodoo gangsters, masked adventurers, unlikely 1930s private eyes and violent chiaroscuro women…and this is Northampton when it’s still awake. Once the town closes its eyes there is another world entirely going on beneath the twitching lids, a world of glittering and sinister delirium much worse than any social or economic devastation. Welcome to the British nightmare, with its gorgeous flesh, its tinsel and its luminous light-entertainment monsters; its hallucinatory austerity.
No trailer has made my wife more excited than the Disney+ announcement of The Mandalorian’s second season. Favreau’s series was a hit here at MMC! headquarters as it seemed the best reflection of the original trilogy’s very lived-in world of rogues and scoundrels and ancient orders. This is the way and it arrives on October 30th!
Actually, most of my screen time has lately been spent watching my wife play Spiritfarer, a management game developed by Canadian studio Thunder Lotus Games and released back in August. The game features Stella and her cat Daffodil as they care for lost souls aboard her ever expanding sea ship until eventually transporting them through the Everdoor and into the afterlife. The game feels remarkably like a Studio Ghibli film, picking up many of its themes – the gratification of mundane tasks like cooking and fishing, the possibility of magical creatures and objects, the bittersweet emotion of love and loss. It’s no NBA Playgrounds 2, but it’s sweet and pretty wonderful!